What Are the Negative Effects of Prejudice?

Prejudice could result in a part of the population being virtually disenfranchised, or poorly represented in certain industries. For example, gender bias may be to blame for the lack of women in the technology industry when compared with men; in 2014, Yahoo reported that its workforce consisted of only 37 percent women, and Google reported it had 30 percent women. Such bias is attributable to ingrained beliefs about women’s abilities in computer science, according to Andrea Rees Davies, associate director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University.

The prejudiced person may also be negatively affected. People who make wrongful assumptions about others without any prior knowledge about them, whether because of race or mental health or another reason, limit their personal growth by denying themselves the chance to learn from those individuals.

Sufferers of prejudice may experience shame and anger, leading to detrimental behavior, such as overeating and aggression. Moreover, they tend to perform worse when they feel they are being stereotyped, according to a study published in the August 2010 issue of “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.” Study participants exhibited hostile behavior even after their initial test, a sign that the effects of prejudice are not limited to the single experience, but linger.